Have a look at these – they’re called the Ten Commandments of Human Relations.
1. Speak to people. There is nothing as nice as a cheerful word of greeting.
2. Smile at people. It takes seventy-two muscles to frown, only fourteen to smile.
3. Call people by name. Music to anyone’s ears is the sound of his/her own name.
4. Be friendly and helpful.
5. Be cordial. Speak and act as if everything you do is genuinely a pleasure, and if it isn’t, learn to make it so.
6. Be genuinely interested in people. You can like almost everybody if you try.
7. Be generous with praise, cautious with criticism.
8. Be considerate with the feelings of others. There are usually three sides to a controversy: yours, the other fellow’s, and the right one.
9. Be alert to serve. What counts most in life is what we do for others.
10. Add to this a good sense of humour, a big dose of patience, and a dash of humility, and you will be rewarded manifold through life.
These ten commandments have been around for 30 or 40 years, I believe.
They’re rather good. Certainly true.
Six and nine should be in any service industry set of guidelines.
And Numbers three or five, for example, work almost every time.
But check again.
Would you try Numbers one and two in some areas of, say, London or Brighton, even Worthing?
You’d have to choose your target wisely – or get reported. Arrested.
Er – assaulted.
Especially if they were a member of the opposite sex or a child or someone outside your obvious ‘group’.
Jesus reminded people to love their neighbours as much as they do themselves.
And then got asked “Who is my neighbour”?
Good question. Like saying “Who do I try these commandments on”?
The story he told suggested that our neighbours will be either those who need help or those who give the help.
Thinking Red Nose Day would give some starting points.
But they could be anywhere.
Look out for those who fit either category. Start with them.
Nigel O’Dwyer leads Goring New Life Baptist Church and also, as chairman of Churches Together, speaks for and co-ordinates some of the work between churches in Worthing.